current affairs

Fauxstralian Britain

 Mark Simpson on how we’re all Australian now   (One from the vaults, originally appeared in the Guardian Guide, 2001 – at what now looks like Oz’s cultural high-water mark) If you listen carefully to the soundtrack on Puppetry of the Penis, a video of the show which recently toured Britain to sell-out audiences in which two Australian men, one with long frizzy hair, the other with a handlebar moustache, make their genitalia do impressions of hamburgers and vaginas, you will hear people laughing. Not… Read More »Fauxstralian Britain

Purple Passions

Mark Simpson on lavender marriage – between the closeted star & the public. (Independent on Sunday, August 1995) [One from the vaults for LBGTQIA++ Pride. Probably because it came on the cowboy heels of Male Impersonators (1994), it’s rather more pretentious – and with fewer gags – than later work. I miss when newspapers had room and time for dilly-dallying disquisitions. (Come to think of it, I miss newspapers.) I also talk a lot about ‘stars’. Remember them? Before everyone became slebs. Pretentious nor not, the… Read More »Purple Passions

Anders Breivik: Metro-Psycho

When I first saw the images of Norwegian mass-murderer Anders Breivik, the ones he had so helpfully included in his press pack that accompanied his ‘manifesto’, two thoughts immediately popped into my net-addled head: a) They look photoshopped. Especially the soft-focus glamour one in the Lacoste jumper with the collar turned up b) The ‘action man’ dressy-uppy photos look like they’ve been pulled from a gay fetish dating website. Look at all my sexy accessories! When I compared them with the pictures of the inanely… Read More »Anders Breivik: Metro-Psycho

Army Dreamers: A Backwards Salute to Recruitment Films

by Mark Simpson, (The Guardian) As a boy growing up in the 1960s and 70s I was raised to fight The Second World War all over again. Airfix models. Commando comics. Air tattoos in June. Watching The Battle of Britain and The Longest Day on telly with my dad, just so I’d know what to do if I ever found myself pinned down on a Normandy beach or with an Me 109E on my tail. All of which made me easy prey to an RAF recruiting… Read More »Army Dreamers: A Backwards Salute to Recruitment Films

I Agree With Alex

By Mark Simpson So the Scots Nationalist Party has failed in its court action to force the BBC to include their leader Alex Salmond in the final TV leaders’ debate. Everyone south of the border working in politics and the media seems to be very much agreed that this was the ‘right’ outcome. Except for this Englishman. Not least because of the breathtaking, downright imperious hypocrisy of the Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg. Clegg couldn’t wait for the court decision. He claimed a few days… Read More »I Agree With Alex